Back to the future: Aristotle and molecular biology

Ludus Vitalis 15 (28):195-198 (2007)
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The Aristotelian axiom that function follows form was beautifully instantiated in molecular biology by the discovery of DNA’s structure that immediately suggested how DNA might work as depository and vehicle for genetic information. However, later on molecular biology became infatuated with the gene that became the center of the universe. This gene-centered viewpoint is an obstacle for the emerging field of evo-devo aiming at finding the causal connections between evolution and biological development. Here it is argued that molecular biology must reject the narrow-minded causality associated with the gene-centered view and so it must recover to the spirit of Aristotelian natural history and its four types of causation in order to foster the evo-devo field of research.
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